Readers Panel: Should GP receptionists be trained to direct patients to alternative services?
An initiative to train GP receptionists to ‘navigate’ patients to pharmacists, physiotherapists and other services if they do not need to see a doctor has been trialled in England. Nursing Standard readers have their say
Linda Drake is a practice nurse in London
Well trained and sensitive reception staff are ideally placed to become care navigators, directing patients to appropriate care. Many patients are unaware that an extended range of services are available in the community. Locally we have Pharmacy First, where patients exempt from prescription charges are able to obtain over-the-counter medicines free of charge. Reception staff can direct patients to self-referral services, saving GP appointments for those who really need them.
Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London
Upskilling staff in principle is a good approach. However, I would want to know more about the type and...
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